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Legislation for water risk management in healthcare and aged care facilities

From 1 February 2017, the Public Health Act 2005 and the Public Health Regulation 2018 have been amended to improve water risk management practices in health facilities:

  • the Public Health Act 2005 now includes Chapter 2A (Water risk management plans), sections 389A, and 389B; and amends section 385 and schedule 2 (Dictionary)
  • the Public Health Regulation 2005 now includes Part 1B (Water risk management plans).

These amendments establish a legislative framework to:

  • improve the management and control of health risks associated with the supply and use of water in hospitals and residential aged care facilities (in particular health risks associated with Legionella bacteria)
  • provide for greater public transparency of water testing activities being undertaken by these facilities.


From February 2017, the requirements apply to:

The requirements will be extended to the private residential aged care sector at a later date, following consultation with the sector.

Overview of the new requirements

Facilities will be required to:

  • develop a water risk management plan
  • ensure water risk management plans are complied with
  • notify the chief executive of the Department of Health, within 1 business day, when it is confirmed that Legionella has been detected in water used by a prescribed facility
  • submit periodic reports summarising the results of Legionella tests for a prescribed facility.

More information

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Last updated: 17 September 2018